English at Buglawton Primary School is taught discretely in English lessons, guided reading and phonics and spelling lessons. English skills are also further developed within the wider curriculum. Through being taught to write and speak fluently, pupils learn to communicate their ideas and emotions to others; through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development hence through our reading scheme and key texts, rich vocabulary is introduced.
Speaking and Listening
Throughout the school opportunities to develop pupil’s spoken language in a range of contexts underpins the development of reading and writing. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate their ideas and feelings.
Pupils develop their ability to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They are encouraged to discuss their ideas in order to make sense of their learning.
The importance of early reading, our approach to teaching phonics
At Buglawton, phonics is taught through the systematic acquisition of sounds using the synthetic phonics programmes, Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics.
Phonics is the method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and their symbols (graphemes). Phonics lessons begin in Preschool and following baseline assessments in Reception for those who join from other settings.
Children are introduced to 'single sounds' such as /p/, /o/ and practise recognising them, writing them and 'blending' them. 'Blending' is the ability to combine sounds together in order to create a word. Teaching staff ensure all phonemes are pronounced purely.
Phonics lessons continue throughout Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 when children are exposed to more complex phonemes such as 'ay' in 'stay' and 'ee' in 'see'. Pupils are taught that these sounds are called 'digraphs' because 'two letters represent one sound', or 'trigraphs' when 'three letters make one sound' such as /air/ in 'fair'.
The 'Phonics Screening Check' is taken individually by all children in Year 1 and is designed to give feedback to teachers and parents on how each child is progressing in Phonics. Pupils are asked to read 20 real words and 20 pseudo words, known to the children as 'alien words', in order to ensure children are decoding the words instead of memorising or guessing. ‘Alien words’ are introduced to children in Reception.
During early reading children should become confident readers, having the ability to:
- decode a word
- comprehend the meaning of each word they read
Both of these are needed in order to make sufficient progress in reading.
All children have explicit phonics lessons throughout their first four years at school, starting from Preschool in order to ensure they have enough time to become secure with their decoding skills. Our reading scheme supports the phonics teaching. Books are sent home which correspond to the sound / level that is currently being learned.
Comprehension skills are developed in individual (EY) and guided (KS1 and KS2) reading sessions through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction within English lessons. Within guided reading and English, children read widely a range of fiction and non-fiction texts to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
For help on how to support your children with reading at home, please speak to your child's class teacher.
Writing is taught in the same way in all classes. A process is followed, which we believe allows children to grasp a firm understanding of the genre before attempting to write. The writing process is taught as follows:
Text Immersion (looking at and understanding features of a particular genre)
Analysis (of the type of focus text)
Grammar and Punctuation (specifically needed in order to write in a particular style)
Talk about writing (an opportunity to verbalise ideas)
Planning (an opportunity to plan how your writing will look)
Draft (a first go at writing your piece)
Edit (improving your writing)
Staff support children through each of the writing stages in order to maximise the finished product.